Patient education and health outcomes: implications for library service.
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Many librarians take an active role in patient education, for practical and ethical reasons; however, it is important to examine the effect of such activities on health outcomes. Although the rationale for patient education is that increased knowledge leads to a change in attitude that in turn affects behavior, studies have shown that this is not always true. Furthermore, other studies have shown that patient education programs by themselves have no lasting influence on patient compliance with therapy that has been linked to improved health. Librarians should examine a variety of reasons for their involvement in patient education activities. For librarians who accept improved patient compliance as a goal, specific recommendations based on literature review are made to help implement effective strategies.
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